For several weeks now, the Twins and Carl Pavano have been reported by various to sources to be close to a deal. Yesterday, the two sides finally reached agreement on a two-year, $16.5 million contract.
People will see this deal how they want to see it.
The optimist will focus on Pavano's marvelous 2010 campaign, in which he won 17 games with a 3.75 ERA. The pessimist will recall that in 2009, Pavano posted a 5.10 ERA with very similar peripherals.
The optimist will point out how durable Pavano was last year, when he racked up 221 innings and seven complete games. The pessimist will note that the 35-year-old right-hander has a lengthy injury history -- 2010 marked just the third time in a 13-year career he's surpassed 200 innings.
The optimist will celebrate the Twins opening the wallet to re-sign a high-quality veteran player. The pessimist will bemoan the loss of two high draft picks that would have come to the organization had they allowed Pavano to sign elsewhere and opted for an inexpensive one-year deal with Brandon Webb, or Jeff Francis, or Chris Young, or a similar starter.
The optimist will marvel at what a great deal the Twins got on Pavano. He will average just $8.25 million over the next two seasons; that's an incredible bargain for a free agent pitcher coming off the kind of year he just had.
The pessimist will conclude that Pavano's willingness to settle for a relatively modest $16.5 million after all this time indicates that the rest of the league wanted nothing to do with him. Granted, his Type A status was an inhibitor, but teams will generally give up draft picks to sign a player they like. Pavano was the opposite of a hot commodity. Few teams openly expressed any interest in him and the general manager for one team that was connected to him through media reports felt the need to come out and publicly dispel those myths.
With Pavano joining Jim Thome, Matt Capps and others on a roster that is rapidly taking shape and will apparently feature very few new faces from outside the organization, the optimist will commend the Twins for trying to hold together as much of last year's 94-win club as their expanded payroll restrictions will allow.
The pessimist will wonder why they're simply concocting a weaker version of the same recipe that got them booted from the playoffs in three games last October.
Toward which side do you lean?